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I think René and I must be on the same “wave” because a question from some new clients last week made me want to talk about insurance also!
I had a couple who was thinking about taking a cruise with Carnival within the next 30 days. The recent unfortunate events aboard the Carnival Triumph made them hesitant, but they wondered if they paid for the cruise in full, would the Carnival insurance cover them to get their money back if they later just decided not to go?
Cancelling is tricky, especially if you are in the penalty phase… after the final payment has been made.
Not all insurance is created equally and most cruise line insurance covers you for “specified reasons” like medical reasons as long as you have purchased the insurance before final payment. Changing your mind after that and cancelling may cost you big time. For example, Carnival uses Stonebridge Casualty Insurance Company. Even if you cancel under the “Cancel for any Reason ” clause it states…”you may be eligible for cruise credits up to 75% of the non-refundable, pre-paid cruise vacation cost.”
Translation….you are not going to get the cost of the insurance back, nor all of your money back and you will end up with a voucher credit less than what you originally paid that is good for another cruise on that line at a future date.
Even if you cancel for medical reasons, you would need to file a claim with the insurance company, provide proof of the reason you are cancelling and wait for them to investigate your claim. Depending on what they decide you may get all or a portion of your expenses covered.
Cruise and tour insurance can differ greatly. I always recommend insurance, because you never know when it will come in handy! However, you need to be sure of the coverage before you purchase it , otherwise it will be a huge waste of money if it is not what you needed.
The tour companies I like to use have true “Cancel For Any Reason” coverage. Bad hair day, cat gets sick, car won’t start …as long as you notify the tour company the day prior …you get all of your money back minus the insurance cost! If you paid by credit card you can expect a credit back on your credit card in 10-12 business days. No vouchers and no penalties.
When looking at purchasing insurance look at the different plans offered and see which one fits your needs.
René and I have both mentioned previously that there is some nice coverage when using your cards to pay for rentals. However, René mentioned Tuesday …are there times when some extra coverage would come in handy? Do you want to have primary coverage rather than secondary? Would having coverage for your 3 children under 17 traveling with you for no additional cost appeal to you? Do you need to purchase insurance for a pre-existing condition? Some insurance prices are based on the price of your vacation and your age and that can be a bit salty, but the coverage is amazing if you should need it!
If you book your vacation with points and get an amazing deal, you still may want to give your travel agent a call regarding insurance to ensure while you are away you have that extra peace of mind.
Until next time! – Tamara
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